Diverticulitis is a common colon condition where infection and inflammation cause small pouches to form in the lining of the colon. A person may experience sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, and constipation. It may require surgery to treat it.
Red Meat Then And Now
Our ancestors have been eating red meat in the early days, and our digestive system is designed to break it down. Hundreds of years ago, cows were freely wandering the green mountains, eating only grass, insects, and other plants. That is how they become healthy and suitable for consumption. But now, we see cows in their overcrowded stables, fed with commercial cow feeds. Ranchers give their cows drugs and hormones to yield more milk and get cows fatter for more profit.
Up to this date, humans are very fond of red meat. But the sad news is, according to the study conducted in 2017 by the Harvard researchers, red meat is associated with increased risk of having diverticulitis. Eating red meat six times a week puts a person at high risk.
What Makes Red Meat Bad For The Colon?
Dr. Andrew Chan, a gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, has a theory that the organization of the bacteria in the bowel has something to do with the food we eat. Red meat has a higher content of heme iron which may change the intestinal flora differently than with fish or chicken. Iron in red meat is absorbed by our body if we have a high iron need, but a person who often ingests red meat without high iron requirement becomes prone to inflammation, a condition linked to developing diverticulitis. Still, according to the study, having fish or poultry decreases the chance of having diverticulitis by 20%.
Men who love eating red meat are at a higher risk of having diverticulitis. Unprocessed red meat such as steaks is much more dangerous for our health than the processed kind, such as bacon.
Not All Meat Are The Same
The meat our ancestors used to eat is no longer the same quality served on our tables today. Our meat today undergoes processing after getting slaughtered, besides the reality that farmers feed cows with things that are no longer natural. Though some meat remains unprocessed, cows are still factory farmed. Regardless, there is some good meat up for grabs nowadays. They are grass-fed, organic meat, not given drugs or hormones, and raised organically.
Benefits Of Red Meat
Red meat is one of the best sources of dietary protein which our body needs, but besides protein, it is also rich in vitamin B3, B12, and B6, zinc, iron, and selenium, plus many other vitamins and minerals though in small amounts.
Where Else To Get The Protein Your Body Needed
Besides chicken and fish, other sources of protein can be eggs, whole grain cereals and bread, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Green leafy vegetables and dried apricots are also rich in protein. So cutting back on red meat should no longer be a problem if it is the protein you are concerned about.
Red meat when ingested gets exposed to certain types of bacteria that make a person prone to inflammation. Chronic low-lying infection can cause him to have diverticulitis and worse, possibly make him develop colon cancer.
Be careful not just with the preparation of your meat but in choosing your kind of meat as well. Be aware that whatever health benefits you get from red meat, you can get it from other more nutritious and more colon-friendly foods.
Always remember that you are what you eat.